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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent
ISI INSPECTION REPORT - 2018

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE

PSYCHOLOGY (AQA)

A Level Course Outline

Psychology

What Is Psychology at A level

Psychology strives to understand why people behave and think in certain ways, examining all aspects and stages of life. If you are interested in such issues as why people are independent or obedient, how early experiences in childhood may affect you as an adult, how memory works, what leads people to become mentally ill, and many more, then Psychology is the ideal choice.

For papers 1 and 2, students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of psychology through a range of topics, chosen for their accessibility and popularity. These include memory, infant attachment, stress, social influence and psychopathology as well as how our physiology affects how we think and behave. Students will also learn how psychology functions as a science and how best to design studies in order to test explanations of behaviour.

For paper 3, we will look at relationships, forensic psychology and schizophrenia. We will also consider these topics in terms of some of the major issues and debates.

What Skills Will Students Develop When Studying Psychology?

Psychology enables students to become more aware of the variety and complexity of the human mind and students will also gain a better understanding of their own personality as well as the personalities of those around them.

Through Psychology, students will gain a sense of how science functions and will learn how to properly research a topic.

Students will also learn how to express themselves in both concise and more discursive ways and will develop evaluative skills that will be essential for their future academic success.

Structure of the Course

This course will be taught for 6 x 1 hour lessons per week. Homework will be set on a regular basis and investigations will be conducted as often as possible. Students will receive both class and revision notes but the reading of textbooks as an accompaniment is highly recommended.

PSYCHOLOGY (AQA) A Level Specification

Paper 1
120 minutes
96 marks
33.3% of A Level Exam
Available in May/June

Introductory topics in Psychology

This exam deals with:

  • Social influence, including conformity, obedience and independent behaviour
  • Memory, including models of memory, forgetting and eyewitness testimony.
  • Attachment, including explanations for attachment and deprivation
  • Psychopathology, including definitions of abnormality, approaches and therapies

Candidates will be expected to answer all questions which include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Paper 2
120 minutes
96 marks
33.3% of A Level Exam
Available in May/June

Psychology in context

This exam deals with:

  • Approaches in Psychology including the origins of Psychology, learning, cognitive, biological, psychodynamic and humanistic approaches
  • Biopsychology including the nervous system and localisation of function in the brain.
  • Research methods including knowledge and understanding of inferential tests

Candidates will be expected to answer all questions which include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Paper 3
120 minutes
96 marks
33.3% of A Level Exam
Available in May/June

Issues and options in Psychology

This exam deals with:

  • Issues and debates in Psychology, for example gender and free will and determinism
  • Three from relationships, gender, cognition and development, schizophrenia, eating behaviour, stress, aggression, forensic psychology and addiction.

Candidates will be expected to answer all questions which include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Core Textbook
AQA A-Level Psychology, Lawton. JM, Hodder Education ISBN: 978-1471835377

Further Reading
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Sacks. O, Picador ISBN 978-0330523622